How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When hiring a pest control company, there are a number of factors you can consider to be sure you choose the best one for you. You might take into consideration a company's qualifications and treatment methods in addition to its years of experience and customer reviews. Of course, there is also the cost of services to consider.
Below, we explore the details of each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set minimum standards of competency for pesticide applicators, but licensing is regulated at the state level. All pesticide applicators and supervisors in New Jersey must be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies have the option to obtain certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro. These certifications can help you evaluate the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification is given to companies that use comprehensive and effective pest control treatment that is safer for humans and the environment.
A pest control company can also be a member of certain professional organizations. While not mandatory, membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help verify a company's reputability. After joining an organization like the NPMA, a company receives access to resources, education, and a network of other professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
How long a company has been in business can tell you something about its experience dealing with pests in your area. Customer reviews or the company's website itself can also inform you whether it has the skills and experience needed to handle your specific pest problem. If the answers to your questions aren't available online, contacting the company directly is an easy way to learn about its areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look for reviews and recommendations on social media or local review sites, verify a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), or check the status of its license through the New Jersey licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors can all influence the price of pest control.
You can find out whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), as well as what type of guarantees it has. Often, a company will guarantee that if it does not solve your pest problem, it will continue treatment until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
It's important to consider safety when choosing a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who uses more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
You want to ensure that you understand the precautions around pesticides used around your house, for the sake of your family, your pets, and yourself. Your pest control technician should be able to provide information about the pesticides they intend to use, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures will be used. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) should be registered with the EPA.
You can ask if your technician will begin with more natural and lower-toxicity options before using harsher chemicals.
Many companies now use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to treat pest infestations with minimal personal or environmental risk. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of physical, biological, mechanical, and cultural controls.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and continue with additional pest control as needed.